When you choose to endorse a company, you have to take the good with the bad.
Beyoncé is the sexy face of H&M's summer campaign, but it looks like not all is kosher with the brand.
The Swedish clothing manufacturer has been accused of exploiting workers in its overseas factories, including in Bangladesh, where a recent factory collapse killed approximately 1,127 people.
Workers in other Asian countries, like Cambodia, also report unfair conditions. Srey Nit, a Cambodian worker at an H&M factory in the country says:
"Sometimes we are required to work from morning to morning. They say, 'We are in a hurry.'"
And it's not just the workers who are voicing complaints, either. Director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights Charles Kernaghan recalled the working conditions in two H&M factories he audited in Bangladesh, saying:
"There was child labor, people were being beaten, cheated of their wages — and wages were very, very low. Male supervisors would constantly press young women to have sex with them."
Moreover, Clean Clothes Campaign coordinator Christa Luginbühl has accused H&M of not being truthful in regards to how the clothing for the company is made. She said:
“Hundreds of overworked and malnourished workers faint during their daily work. A fashion collection cannot be ‘conscious,’ ‘sustainable,’ or ‘responsible’ if a producer denies garment workers the basic human right for a living wage."
Now, people are calling on Bey to use her power for good and put pressure on H&M to make sure its workers are being treated humanely.
Fair Trade Campaigns Director for Green America Elizabeth O’Connell maintains that the singer could be more proactive:
"Beyoncé has more power than she knows … she could have agreed to continue only if H&M agreed to change the working conditions of its overseas garment factories. Celebrities should look past the dollar signs and become aware of what the company is actually selling."
We do think that Bey can use her power to promote positive change, and after the recent catastrophe in Bangladesh, a change is sorely needed.
[Image via H&M]
Tags: beyonce, charles kernaghan, christa luginbuhl, clean clothes campaign, elizabeth oconnell, fair trade campaigns director for green america, fashion smashion, h and m, institute for global labour and human rights, srey nit